Saturday, July 12, 2008

On vacation...

Spending some quality time with my boyfriend in upstate New York. We were driving around trying to find some good yard sales when I eyed this beauty at a "barn sale" outside Buffalo.

It's an Azzuri, they are made by the Bicycling Corporation of America from Allentown PA (BCAmerica). Does anyone know anything about this company? I cannot find much online. My boyfriend found some information. Seems that BCA filed for chapter 11 in the early 80's.

The frame is in great condition, just a couple of chips in the paint. I might or might not want to repaint it, blue isn't my favorite color, but it's a brand that doesn't even exist anymore. I might want to preserve the original look. The tires, cassette and chain are all rusted. I'll use some elbow grease and salvage what I can. I figure I'll replace the items that are rusted to hell.

I've never refurbished and old bicycle before (or anything else for that matter), so this is going to be quite an adventure!

Anybody have any advice? Tips? Info?

I also want to say that I added a link to the How To Fix Bikes blog in my "Biking Blog I like" bloglist as I found that the guy who wrote the blog was offering a great deal of information and I thought it smart to take note. I'm glad I did, now that I have this project. I highly recommend this blog.


update, my boyfriend and I have since broken up and he hasn't sent me the bike, so chances are, I wont ever see this bike again. que sera sera...


Anonymous said...

My humble advice on restoring or refurbishing...

If the manky bits are cheap, mass-production, steel parts and easy to replace with good, "sympathetic" parts then replace them. You can always keep the originals and try to refurbish them later.

If they're alloy, polish them with metal cleaner and a ball of soft aluminium foil - the kind of stuff they once used to wrap chocolate bars in (before metalised plastic) is preferable to the kind used for roasting chicken, but the latter will do.

Strip the machine completely and rebuild it from scratch and you'll not only appreciate it more, you'll know it's every little peccadillo and how to address them when necessary!

The paint does look in reasonably good order and is presumably connected with the name... Some yellow tape on the bars would distract you if you really hated the colour! :c)

Pál Viktor said...

I have found your blog while searching for info on my old BCA Azzuri. I got this bike in Hungary for Christmas some time at the end of the 1980s. So I got pretty lovely memories about it. I tried to learn some about the BCA, but found virtually nothing on the net. Have you managed to learn more about BCA's profile, history etc? If yes, I would greatly appreciate any additional info you may have. My email is viktor(dot)paal(at)gmail(dot)com
Thank you! BW, Viktor

T. E. B. H. said...

I recently built up a BCA Supra frame, and also have been looking for some info on the marque.

As far as I can certainly say, BCA and Ross Bicycles were somehow connected(both were based in Allentown, PA) and both went defunct, and both made bikes that ranged in quality from glorified slag heaps to overpriced bikes of decent quality. That is where details start to get fuzzy.

What I have heard most is that BCA's lugged frames are of passable quality, and make fairly nice project bikes as long as you don't dump too much money into them(mine is a fixie using parts bin finds and a salvaged DP-18 wheel set) The paint on most of the other i have seen is pretty awful, and yours is by far the best BCA of any sort I've come across in Google.

As for company history, i've heard they were a subsidiary of Ross, the parent company of Ross, an off shoot of Ross started by ex-Ross employees, and that they were two companies with no relation outside of geography. BCA also built low end bikes for other companies, particularly after a string of new tariffs and currency evaluations briefly made imported bikes to costly to be sold. The trademark was first used in 1981, and was filed for in 82, and registered by 83.

The company apparently sponsored a soccer team in the LEHIGH VALLEY SUMMER SOCCER LEAGUE, and from 1983-1989, had a dynasty in the league's Men's Senior Devision championship, often facing off against Hickory High. In 1984, a W. Ehrlich of BCA made a $1000 dollar contribution to Don Ritter's bid for re-election Congress. This same William Ehrlich patented a Bicycle/Scooter combination for the company in 1987-

Not too many years after that, the company filled for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and BCA has drifted
into obscurity..

out riding

out riding
riding my flying pigeon